If you are coming here expecting an article about Nashville’s own, Josef Newgarden, reportedly going to Team Penske – I’m holding off until it is confirmed. Yesterday, Robin Miller reported that Penske is where Newgarden is headed. Supposedly, Newgarden is under contract until September 28th. Until his deal is done, I’ll stay quiet. When and if it’s confirmed that Penske is in fact his destination, I saw enough pontificating on social media yesterday to give me plenty to talk about. Until then, I’ve got other opinions to talk about.
The Verizon IndyCar Series has closed the books on the 2016 season. To say that it was in riveting fashion would be a stretch. Not to be negative, but yesterday’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway was one of the more boring races I’ve seen in a while.
What has mostly been a two-horse race for the past month or so, will finally be whittled down to one on Sunday. The Verizon IndyCar Series visits Sonoma Raceway this weekend for the season finale in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma that will decide the entire points battle – not only who wins the championship, but where others will fall in the final standings.
With the Verizon IndyCar Series season winding down this weekend, the silly-season is expected to be in full-swing after the championship is decided this Sunday at Sonoma. Most rumors have been focused on Josef Newgarden, the Nashville native that everyone has penciled in somewhere. A month ago, I said that Newgarden will be staying at Ed Carpenter Racing. Now, I’m not so sure. But if he goes anywhere besides ECR, my bet is that it’ll be with Team Penske to drive the No.2 car currently driven by Juan Montoya.
Next weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series will wrap up their 2016 season with a trip to Sonoma. As has been the case since 2014, the season finale will pay double-points for race results, but all bonus points will remain the same. It seems to me that if you are going to pay double-points, then everything should be doubled. Instead of a the pole position paying its usual one point, logic would have it that it should pay two next weekend.
We learned last week that there will be another IndyCar driver dancing his way to mainstream celebrity status. In 2007, Helio Castroneves became an overnight sensation to a group of non-racing fans that had previously never heard of him, when he won Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). I know for a fact that Helio’s appearance brought in new fans, because I’ve heard from them through this site. They rarely, if ever, comment here; but I’ve gotten emails from them saying they never followed this sport until they watched Helio in 2007.
The race at Watkins Glen that we had been waiting for since we found out about it in May, finally took place yesterday. To be honest, I found it to be an odd race. On paper it should have been a very boring race, but it wasn’t. Scott Dixon was on another planet compared to the rest of the grid ever since they unloaded off of the truck on Friday. He completely dominated the weekend and the race yesterday on his way to winning his fourth race at Watkins Glen in seven tries, and his second of the season. Consequently, he and Helio Castroneves are now tied for a distant third in the championship standings.